Wednesday, September 21, 2011

going south african

the other week, JLB had me over for dinner and made bobotie (pronounced ba-bu-ah-tea), a south african dish. i liked it so much that i wanted to make it again. she made it a little different so we could it sooner, but i did get the recipe from her which is from

bobotie is a curried beef casserole with a egg and milk baked topping. yellow rice goes really nicely with it. and i did use some sriracha to give it a little more kick.

i brought some bobotie for my colleague who is south african to get her opinion. she enjoyed it so i have my stamp of approval from a south african.

i've converted the metric units to US measurements. i found this site to be very helpful when i need to convert measurements. for the step of soaking the bread, i soaked it in milk so i could use that milk for the topping, a tip from JLB.

Bobotie recipe
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 25g butter(1-3/4 tbsp)
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1kg packet lean minced beef(2 lb ground beef)
  • 2 tbsp madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 tbsp peach or mango chutney
  • 3 tbsp sultanas
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 300ml full-cream milk(10oz)
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4/350F. Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and beef and stir well, crushing the mince into fine grains until it changes colour. Stir in the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, sultanas and 2 of the bay leaves with 1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper.
  3. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Squeeze the water from the bread, then beat into the meat mixture until well blended. Tip into an oval ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.
  4. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

Yellow rice recipe

  • 350g basmati rice (1 - 3/4 cup)
  • 50g butter(3tbsp)
  • 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1⁄2 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods , shelled and seeds crushed
  • just under 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 tbsp raisins
Serves 6


  1. Put all the ingredients in a large pan with 1 tsp salt and 500ml water, then heat until boiling and the butter has melted.
  2. Stir, cover and leave to simmer for 10 mins. Take off the heat and leave, still covered, for 5 mins. Fluff up and tip into a warm bowl to serve.

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